He may be small but your basset hound is full of energy. Being a hound he’s also got a keen sense of smell. A sense he’s eager to use at any given opportunity, whatever the situation. That means when you take him out for walks, he pulls you in every which direction as he follows a scent. This is a serious problem. There’s been numerous occasions where he’s nearly pulled you into oncoming traffic. It also makes stopping to chat with neighbors a somewhat challenging affair. He may be small, but he’s stronger than he looks.
Training him to walk on a leash is essential if you want to enjoy a relaxing walk on a weekend morning. That’s what you envisaged when you brought him home, right? Succeed with this training and you’ll also find it easier to stamp out other problematic habits.
Training any dog to walk on a leash can be a challenge, but Basset hounds can be particularly tricky customers. Although they’re sweet natured and affectionate, when their nose catches something they can be dead set on following it to the ends of the earth. This means you need to find creative ways to keep him on task. Some smelly food and treats can often do the job. You’ll use these as an incentive throughout training.
If he’s young he should be a fast learner and you could see results in just a week or two. If he’s older and stubborn then you may need a couple of months before he’s fully got the hang of it. Get this training right and your walks can return to the peaceful, calm strolls you first imagined. Not to mention training him other commands will be much easier.
Before you can start training you’ll need to get a few bits together. You’ll need a generous supply of his favorite food or smelly treats. You’ll also need to get your hands on a short, secure leash.
Although they’re small, Basset hounds can be quite strong, so it may be worth investing in a body harness too. This will increase your control and reduce the strain on his neck. You can practice training when you’re on your daily walks, so you don’t need to set aside any extra time.
Once you’ve got all of the above just bring a positive attitude and you can get to work!
We do not have a yard and want to train him to walk on a leash. Is this possible? I see the article on your site but I am concerned he won't get enough activity if we train him only. Won't he get frustrated/angry after 15 mins?
Hello Jack, If pup has never been on a leash before (was a stay, ect...in the past), I suggest actually starting by introducing the leash and leash pressure using one of the method from the article linked below. It mentions puppies, but that's simply because most older dogs are already used to the leash so these methods should work for your pup too. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-accept-leash Once pup is used to the leash and leash pressure, or if pup is already used to that much, check out the article I have linked below and follow the Turns method for teaching pup to follow you on the leash and heel: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel When first starting out, walks will probably be no longer than 30 minutes with the Turns method, and much, much shorter when first introducing the leash period. The Turns method will require a lot of concentration from pup so you will likely find out that although you haven't gone far because you are walking in a lot of circles and square to train at first, the amount of actual steps and focus to learn tends to wear pup out just as much as a longer walk, then the walk can be lengthened as pup improves. For times when pup isn't getting enough exercise until they are trained, practice obedience commands that involve moment and focus inside to wear pup out. A fast paced training session that involves lots of focusing tends to wear most dogs out as well or better than a walk. Try teaching things like Place, Come, Sit, Stand, Down, and Stay. Work up to sending pup to Place from across the room, practicing lots of Come and Stay, having pup do "doggie pushups" by doing Sit, Down, and Stand in different orders...Sit, Down, Stand, Down, Stand, Sit, Down, Sit, ect... Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?